Last spring I was wandering around the local library when I came across two fun little books - Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz, and Yummi 'Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala. These books exactly suited my mood at the time - I was in the middle of several larger, time-consuming projects, and I was beginning to feel the need to make a few random, quick-to-stitch projects (in some circles, this is known as "developing a case of start-itis"!). These little crochet munchibles were perfect - after all, who doesn't need a little crocheted food in their lives?! :)
I love crocheting toys and dolls. The patterns are generally very straightforward and easy, and you really only need to know a few basic crochet skills: how to make a starting chain; work a single crochet (double crochet in UK terminology); work basic increases and decreases; and how to use a slipped stitch to close off a round. The toys are usually shaped and stuffed as you go, so there is very little sewing of seams or sewing in of ends when you're finished. You can use any kind of yarn for crochet toys, so they're a great way to use up all the leftover bits and pieces in your stash. My one piece of advice is to consider who you're making the item for, and whether or not it will need to be frequently washed - if that's the case you may want to limit yourself to yarns made from acrylic blends, cottons, or superwash wools.
When I had completed my little feast - a few sandwiches, a couple of chicken legs, a piece of cake, and even a plate of veggies and dip - I realized that they would be the perfect thing to serve at a Teddy Bears' Picnic. I believe that the official Bears' picnic day was back in June or July, but that hasn't stopped Frobisher, Hudson, Carl, and a few of their fuzzy friends from setting up their own end-of-summer picnic right in the middle of my window! Apparently, the ceramic sheep have been invited along as well, but we have yet to see if they'll partake of the fuzzy fare!
If you want to come join in the fun, we have a few copies of Yummi 'Gurumi in stock, and a number of copies of Tasty Crochet on back order - hopefully they will arrive in the next week or so. Not a crocheter? You can find lots of patterns for knitted food on Ravelry - just do a pattern search for food, and you'll find lots of options for both knitting and crochet. I think these would make a great addition to any kid's toy box - and with the holidays just around the corner, they are a fantastic gift idea! :)